Redoing the 2010s drafts for the Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz poised to make pick in second round of 2022 NBA Draft (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz poised to make pick in second round of 2022 NBA Draft (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /
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As we enter the mid-2020s, we can now look back on the 2010s as a decade and confidently say where the Utah Jazz went wrong and where they went right. Since 2010, the Utah Jazz have made some really good and really bad draft choices, so with hindsight being 20/20 it only makes sense to rewind a bit and consider what the franchise could and should have done with their draft picks.

The Utah Jazz were slightly below average in the last decade based on this outline, which I tend to agree with. If they drafted better, could they have ended up higher in these standings? Could they have won a ring? Who knows, but with some alternate history the franchise could have ended up in a much different place.

2010: Utah picked nine and 55

With the ninth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz selected Butler forward Gordan Hayward. This was not a bad pick at all, as he ended up being an All-Star and had some very good seasons for the Jazz, but the Pacers took Paul George one pick later. Utah could have ended up with a very good player instead of just a good player, but with the other names still on the board, it’s not like this was a total miss.

With the 55th pick, Utah took Jeremy Evans, who played five seasons with the Jazz and averaged 3.7 points. Out of the few players still on the board, Evans had by far the best career, so this pick, while inconsequential, was a good one.

2011: Utah picked three and 12.

This was a horrible draft for the Jazz. With the third overall pick, they selected Enes Freedom, who never panned out as an elite NBA center. Tristan Thompson and Jonas Valančiūnas went four and five, and while neither of them are amazing, they both would have been better bigs than Freedom, which was quite a reach.

At 12, the Jazz took Alec Burks. Burks had some solid seasons and lit it up before he played a real NBA game, but with Tobias Harris, Nikola Vecevic, and Kawhi Leonard all going soon after Burks, any one of them would have been a better selection. Two early picks, and two big whiffs for Utah. Imagine a lineup with Kawhi and Valančiūnas. How many banners would they win after getting Donovan Mitchell?

2012: Utah picked 47

With only one late second-round pick, it’s no wonder that Utah did not find an All-NBA level player. Kevin Murphy was selected from Tennessee Tech and played just 17 games in his career. No one special was selected after him, so we can’t blame Utah for not finding a star in 2012 with limited resources.